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The purpose of this paper is to write about roles of reward systems in the 10th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) located at the United States Air Force Academy. I will discuss whether I believe in the current reward system and whether the reward system motivates employees to achieve the unit's organization goals. Moreover, from my opinion, I will discus whether employees are satisfied with the current reward system and what I would do to improve the current system to make more effective. Currently, the 10th Security Forces Squadron has many reward systems in place. One of which is a 100 percent tuition assistance program (TA) for all active duty military members who attend college. Tuition assistance helps motivate all types of active duty military members to complete their college degree with hardly any out of pocket expenses to the military member.
Even though the TA program is widely disseminated throughout the Air Force Academy, not many members in the 10 SFS take advantage of TA. Many of the members at the 10th SFS work 12 to 14 hour shifts and these shifts vary every week creating the issue of not having set days off, therefore, creating schedule conflicts. Moreover, when reading further into TA, what's not widely disseminated is that there is a capitation for the cost of college that the government will pay. Beginning October 1, 2002, TA will be capitated at $3,400, meaning if an active duty military member uses the complete total of $3,400 in less than one year, that military member will have to find a way to pay for the rest of his or her college until the next fiscal year, which is from October to October.Many employees in the 10th SFS are young troops that live in the dorm. The question has been asked at dorm meeting why the troops do not take advantage of TA and the response that troops do not want to pay any out of pocket expense because they cannot afford books and tuition, has been overwhelming. The second reason for not going to college and using TA was shift work that most troops have to endure.
Most of the troops flight chiefs will work with a school schedule; however, the flight chief cannot guarantee that the military member can be let off work to attend every class. Therefore, most troops feel that TA and college is too much trouble and do not want to bother with it. A second form of reward is fringe compensation. The fringe compensation that I will be talking about is free time off. Due to employees at the 10th SFS working such long hours and not being able to spend time with their family members, time off is very important to these people.
Therefore, their flight chiefs will look at the employee's uniforms, dress appearance, hygiene, and work performance to evaluate who will get an extra day off. This type of reward systems has worked very well within the unit; it has worked so well that the operations section is now rotating every Friday off for each employee, so that every person that works in operations will get one Friday off a month. This fringe benefit has boosted flight work; customer service throughout the Air Force Academy, increase work production in the office and the quality of work has improved. Personally, I believe in both TA and extra time off without being charged for leave. TA has proven to help people meet their dreams in life with completing a college degree. Military members that really want to go to college regardless of who is paying for the bill will attend and complete the degree program.
Younger members of the 10th SFS need to realize that nothing come free in life and what's worth working hard for regardless of the costs is worth having. Those military members, who sacrifice regardless of what TA pays for, will get ahead in life and in their Air Force careers. The fringe benefit of time off is AWSOME! Once the 10th SFS established the criteria on what a person needs to do to have extra time off, everyone did a turn around. Supervisors that were having problems with their troops to get them to shine their boots, cut their hair, and iron their uniform had half the issues. Everyone on flight worked hard on creating a "spit-shine" on their boots, heavy starched uniforms, and the men's hair was within regulation. This benefit has proven to be a winner throughout the 10th Security Forces Unit and will remain in effect for everyone to benefit from. It is my opinion, that part of the employees at the 10th Security Forces Squadron like and benefit from TA and extra time off when time off is desiring. Recommendations to improve TA would be to increase the allotted amount each year.
College is very expensive and some of the younger troops do indeed need help financing their education, however, if TA would increase the amount per fiscal year and educate our military members on how to use TA, I believe there would be a better response from the 10 SFS to use TA and complete a college program. The fringe benefit of time could not be better. Making recommendations on improving the system would be difficult at this point and time. Since, the program is new and working very well, it is very hard to say what would make the system work better. As of now, the people in the 10th SFS are showing better customer service base wide, increased work production, decreased stress on day-to-day issues and increase quality of work. Currently, I could not make any recommendations to make the system better.
Throughout this paper we've discussed two different types of benefits that the 10th SFS offers to their employees, how these benefits work with the unit and how the reward affect the people in the unit. I have made recommendation on bettering one system but could not make any suggestions for the other. I hope this paper has been able to give the reader a clear understanding of the 10th SFS reward and motivation program that are offered. Reference Martoccho, J. (2001).
Employee Motivation and Compensation. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall.
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